Ephesians 5 might be one of the more controversial passages in the Bible. It is often twisted and used to validate inequality, oppression and unhappiness. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands. As with so many verses of Scripture, when taken out of context, it relates only a portion of the meaning.
The mutuality and beauty of the covenant of marriage is summed up by Paul in the final sentence of this passage, clearing up any preceding confusion. If we are loving selflessly and unconditionally, respect flows freely, which generates more love, which generates more respect and so on. This results in an endless cycle of reciprocity and ease.
The only way to achieve and sustain this flow in marriage, or in any relationship, is by making a commitment to putting God first and above all. When we focus our primary attention on nourishing that relationship, all other relationships calibrate and align.
- Kristin Armstrong
Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.
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